photo: Students Flint-Knapping

Cultural Resources Facility: Students Working to Preserve History

Livia Arnold came to Humboldt State as a student with an interest in other cultures, but it wasn't until she volunteered with the Cultural Resources Facility that she discovered her passion for archaeology.

"It's really cool to be able to touch history," she says. "You can take an object that has little meaning by itself and figure out its cultural context and historical significance."

» Read more about HSU's Cultural Resources Facility
Jamie Baxter surveying in Belize

Exploring Ancient Maya Sites in Belize

"It's a big deal for undergraduates to get this kind of hands-on fieldwork experience," says Marisol Cortes-Rincon, Professor of Anthropology at HSU.

She's talking about the Belize Archaeology Field program that brings students to an unexplored Maya site and let's them make the discoveries. Students are mapping, excavating and exploring the site's ecology and getting hands on experience in a pristine jungle environment.

» Read more about the Belize Archaeology Field Program
Student basket weaving

Reuniting Science and Spirit

Ethnobotany combines science and cultural knowledge with the goal of introducing students to groups and ideas they might not find in a traditional classroom setting.

The unique program is a partnership between HSU's Department of Anthropology, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and members of the Karuk Tribe, including several basket weavers and herbalists.

» Read more about the Ethnobotany Program
photo: Ariel Gruenthal & Mary Glenn

Ariel Gruenthal ('08, Anthropology): Humboldt County's First Female Deputy Coroner

As an undergraduate, she worked with Anthropology Professor Mary Glenn identifying remains in missing-persons cases for the coroner's office. "We would lay out skeletons and I would help her do biological profiles of the remains," Gruenthal says. "That kind of good, hands-on training is the best way to learn."

In Oct. 2010, she was officially sworn in as the County's first female deputy coroner.

» Read more about Ariel Gruenthal
photo: Mona Monkey

Learning from Mona Monkeys

Professor Mary Glenn specializes in mona monkeys, a species of primate introduced to the African islands of São Tomé and Principe and the Caribbean island of Grenada approximately 300 years ago during the slave trade.

Glenn's work compares island monas with mona populations living on the African mainland in the countries of Nigeria and Cameroon.

» Listen to the calls of the mona monkey

Taking Cues from the Flakes

Flint Knapping Workshop Gives Hands-on Training in an Ancient Art

Anthropology professor Marisol Cortes-Rincon has a sharp eye for authentic stone artifacts. But when it comes to workshop instructor Michael Peterson's work, even she sometimes has trouble telling his modern products from the real deal.

» Read more about the Flint Knapping Workshop

The Jungle as the Classroom

In Costa Rica, HSU Students Study Primate Behavior Firsthand

Drs. Mary Glenn and Marissa Ramsier and their students have found themselves in some pretty unique situations in Costa Rica. Oh sure, they trounced around the jungle among poisonous snakes and learned to live with insatiable mosquitoes, but nothing quite compared to the all-out battle at the suspension bridge.

» Read More about the Costa Rica Primate Field Program

From Forensics to Family Bonds, Lab Provides Students the Opportunity for Hands-On Research into Humanity

"It's a puzzle," says Ariel Gruenthal ('08, Anthropology). But the pieces she's working with are human remains and the picture she's trying to build is a snapshot of the deceased's life before he or she arrived on Gruenthal's slab in the Coroner's Office.

» Read more about the work happening in the Humboldt Center for Evolutionary Anthropology

Putting it All Together

HSU's Archaeology Lab Gives Students a Chance to Uncover History, Piece by Piece

Looking at the pile of unlabeled, broken glass bottles, most people would see recycling. But not Leslie Perkins, an Anthropology major immersed in work at the department's Archaeology Laboratory. "It tells a story about what people were doing back near the turn of the 20th century," she says.

» Read more about the work happening in the Archaeology Laboratory

Studying Anthropology gave me the framework to understand how different cultures, including my own, operate and understand one another—that’s been invaluable in my international human rights work.

Maria Paz Caceres
Indigenous Advocate & New
Voices National Fellow